The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play

The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play

Presented at PAX East 2018 on Sunday morning in the Arachnid Theatre!

These may not be the top 40 board games ever designed, nor is it the top 40 influential or otherwise important games. If you aspire to really understand tabletop, or if you have visions of designing your own games, these are the 40 games that, if you play them, will give you the widest possible perspective on what it means to make a good game (and what "good" even means). Join the GeekNights crew for an exploration of the boundaries of tabletop gaming. There are some gems in there.

Why Five Nights at Freddy's is Scary

Why Five Nights at Freddy's is Scary

Five Nights at Freddy's is undeniably scary. While it relies on jumpscares, notice that it uses them not to scare you along the way, but more to condition you for much greater and sustained fright and paranoia. FNAF is a clever, well-designed, simple horror game that in many ways has redefined horror games as a genre.

What exactly makes Five Nights at Freddy's so scary? What game mechanics does it employ to do this?

Zendo - Learn to Play

Learn to Play: Zendo

Zendo is a fantastic logic game for n players. The game is self-constructed. Just buy several sets of Loony Labs "Ice Dice" or equivalents, get some colored glass counters, and go nuts. To quote wikipedia:

"Zendo is a game of inductive logic designed by Kory Heath in which one player (the "Master") creates a rule for structures ("koans") to follow, and the other players (the "Students") try to discover it by building and studying various koans which follow or break the rule. The first student to correctly state the rule wins."

Super Art Fight at MAGFest XI

Time lapse video of Super Art Fight at MAGFest XI which took place on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

Now all of you listeners who never went to see Super Art Fight like we told you can get a small taste of what it's all about.

Music is "Bare Knuckle Blitz" by WillRock from Overclocked Remix

Recorded using a GoPro HD Hero 2

The Kingkiller Chronicle

The Kingkiller Chronicle

The current (as of November 2012) GeekNights Book Club selection is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, itself being book one of the "Kingkiller Chronicle" trilogy.

This is a snippet of discussion prior to the recording of an unrelated show, where we were discussing the current book club book, whereupon we discuss such matters as where the second book (The Wise Man's Fear) appears to be going, some similarities to a Burning Wheel resource cycle (nevermind the actual burning wheel in the first book), some shonen fighting vibes a la One Piece, and some pre-book-club-episode thoughts.

The Name of the Wind: He Took an Arrow to the Knee

The Name of the Wind: He Took an Arrow to the Knee

The current GeekNights Book Club selection is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, itself being book one of the "Kingkiller Chronicles."

This is a snippet of discussion prior to the recording of an unrelated show, where we were discussing the current book club book. After describing the basic premise, Scott goes on to point out that "I used to be an Adventurer, but I took an arrow to the knee" and its ilk (made famous by Skyrim and the resultant memes) seem to come originally from this very book. It may be a coincidence though. We then discuss the mechanics of an arrow going into one's knee.

Spotting Counterfeit PAX Badges

PAX East 2012 fast approaches. As the convention is sold out of three-day badges, you can bet there will be dicks out there selling fakes. Luckily: there is a sure-fire way to detect the most common type of forged badge that doesn't even require you to analyze minute details or even verify the newly added hologram.

Try to split the badge in two with your bare hands.

You will not be able to do this to a real badge.

There are some people legitimately selling their badges, and you can legitimately buy said badges from them, but don't be fooled and buy a fake! PAX will kick you out when they catch you, and you're giving your hard-earned space dollars to a bad guy.

Also, non-attendee badges (guest speaker, VIP, etc...) aren't even transferable in the first place. Do you really think a bona fide VIP of the con is selling their own badge on the up and up? Hint: they're not.

We at GeekNights love PAX: it's literally our favorite binary constellation of conventions in the yearly convention circuit. We present every year both East and Prime. Help us help PAX help you not get ripped off!

Not pumped enough already for PAX? Bide your time with some highlights from previous paces (paxes, paxis, whatever).

PAX East 2011:

PAX Prime 2011:

We're also presenting two events at PAX East 2012. Come by and say hi!

GeekNights Boardgame Workshop Tabletop Worskhop Theatre Friday 6:00pm - 8:00pm Dive into tabletop gaming! Rym and Scott (GeekNights) are here to teach you to play (and more importantly, to win). Agricola is a super popular resource management game with little wooden animals and surprising strategic depth. Carcassonne is a classic tile-laying area control game that teaches the fundamentals of optimal play and point denial. We're here to teach you both -- first the rules, then the strategy -- in a hands-on workshop with no experience necessary.

Let's Play Money Making Games Cat Theatre Saturday 4:30pm - 5:30pm Games can make their money many ways, but how do these models affect, intentionally or not, the design choices of the game makers themselves? What about the players? Do you play a game differently depending on how you paid for it? Free to play, pay once, subscription, or silly hats, what do these different models mean to games at their core? Only ten rupees; hopefully you won't have to pay the door repair charge.

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